By Ola Mazzuca
When do metal and folk cross a fine line? That is what I ask myself while listening to Swedish folk metal band, Fejd.
Translating to ‘feud’ in English, Fejd formed from the remains of folk duo Rimmerfors (brothers Patrik and Niklas Rimmerfors) and members of Swedish power metal band, Pathos. A lot can be discussed in regards to their first full-length release, Storm. With the use of traditional Nordic folk instruments such as the bouzouki, Swedish bagpipe, Jew’s harp, hurdy-gurdie, keyed fiddle, willow-pipe, the recorder and the cow antler, Storm is a cultured listen. “Offerrök”, the first track on the album flows well, considering the blend of so many varied instruments. It has a very ambient feel to it, reminiscent of howling wind in some miniscule way.
Tracks “Svanesång”, “Vid Jore Å”, and “Likfärd” are heavy on the strings, while “Älvorna Dansar” features graceful female vocals. Fejd show us what they can do with a wide range of instruments but I want to know where the true elements of heavy metal are evident.
Prior to listening to Storm for the first time, I expected Fejd to sound quite similar to other Scandinavian folk bands Korpiklaani or Ensiferum. Patrik Rimmerfors’ vocals are not guttural, nor is he leather lunged. Guitar solos and vigorous drumming are also lacking. These just may be the key components missing that would make Storm a heavier listen.
On the other hand, I really do respect what Fejd are experimenting with. Folk metal is one of the most underestimated sub-genres of heavy metal. If adding obscure instruments and writing music that connect to nature take Fejd to a whole new level, so be it.
Storm, overall, can be classified as a metal record, but this is based on the sole listener’s perception. Only for the open minded.